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Mr. Smarty Plants - Fast-growing screen for New York

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Friday - June 04, 2010

From: Angola, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Fast-growing screen for New York
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I need a fast growing screen to put along my fence due to undesirable neighbors who moved next door to my summer place. Small lot: 25'x25' . The side is south and the lot is partially shade w sandy soil. I wanted bamboo but cannot find it. Thank you. P.S. I love your site

ANSWER:

First of all, thank you for your kind words.  Second of all, since there are no North American native bamboos, we would not recommend that you plant bamboos.  Furthermore, most bamboo species are very aggressive and invasive.  The article on ehow.com, How to Get Rid of Bamboo, gives you a pretty good idea why you don't want to use bamboo.

My first thought was that you would want an evergreen shrub or tree for your screen.  There aren't but a few native to your area (in or adjacent to Erie County) that show rapid growth.  In fact,  Pinus strobus (eastern white pine), is the only evergreen one I found identified as having rapid growth.  Of course, its maximum height is more than 100 feet so that might not be something you want. Two other evergreens of a more moderate size and moderate growth rate are Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) and Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel).

Since this is your summer place, you might be happy to have a rapidly growing deciduous species to act as a screen and intersperse it with evergreens.  Here are some possibilities for deciduous small trees/shrubs:

Cornus alternifolia (alternateleaf dogwood) and here's more information.

Corylus americana (American hazelnut) is fast growing and here is more information.

Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush) and here is more information.

Physocarpus opulifolius (common ninebark) is fast growing and here is more information.

Rhus copallinum (winged sumac) is fast growing and here is more information.

Salix bebbiana (Bebb willow) is fast growing and here is more information.

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis (common elderberry) is fast growing and here is more information.

Staphylea trifolia (American bladdernut) is fast growing and here is more information.


Pinus strobus

Juniperus virginiana

Kalmia latifolia

Cornus alternifolia

Corylus americana

Lindera benzoin

Physocarpus opulifolius

Rhus copallinum

Salix bebbiana

Staphylea trifolia

 


 

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